Thinking of adopting a child? Adoption is a wonderful thing for a family to do, providing a permanent loving home and family for a child in need. It’s a lifelong commitment that’s taken very seriously by the courts and is governed by a provincial law known as the Adoption Act.
The Legal Position on Adoption
Adoption is legally defined as the process of permanently transferring the legal rights and responsibilities of being a parent from the child’s biological parents to the adoptive parents. From that point on, the adopters have the same legal rights and responsibilities of biological parents.
Only the Province of BC or a licensed non-profit adoption agency are authorized to place children with an adoptive family. During this process, they are required to carry out the following steps:
- Provide counseling to parents who are considering placing a child for adoption
- Assess the prospective adoptive parents to make sure they’re suitable
- Help the adoptive parents meet legal requirements
- Offer post-adoption support
The Different Types of Adoption in BC
Children become available for adoption for a variety of reasons and each scenario is unique. No matter the type of adoption, the Province of BC is obliged to make every effort to find an adoptive family who best meets the specific needs of a child and can provide them with a permanent secure and loving home.
Here are the four different types of adoption:
Adopting from Foster Care
Foster parents are temporary guardians who care for the child while a permanent arrangement can be found. In this scenario, the province places and emphasis on families who can learn and grow with the children so they can reach their full potential.
When the birth parents decide to put the child up for adoption, they can help to choose the adoptive family and even stay in contact after the adoption process is complete. This type of adoption is usually handled by a licensed non-profit.
Adopting a Child from Abroad
This popular type of adoption requires the assistance of a licensed non-profit adoption agency due to the extra planning needed to bring a child to Canada from abroad. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will make the final decision on whether a child is allowed to enter the country.
Adopting a Relative or Stepchild
Typically handled through the court, this type of adoption usually requires some form of legal assistance. Each situation is unique, so it’s best to consult with a family law expert before proceeding.
Who Can Apply to Adopt in BC?
The legal requirements to adopt in British Columbia are simple. You must be resident in the province for at least six months, you must be 19 years of age or older, any one adult or two adults jointly may apply. You don’t need to be the perfect “nuclear family” to adopt and marital status and sexual orientation don’t matter. Instead, the ability of the adoptive parents to provide a secure and loving permanent home will be the key deciding factor.
Speak to an Expert
Need advice with any aspect of the adoption process? Contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs.